Sunday, 3 April 2011

The Move: Fillmore West 1969

I feel I've been neglecting you, humble Blogster. I've been off gallivanting (and dealing with an OFSTED inspection - bah humbug) and not fulfilling my duty as a provider of ace tunes. That will change. I've got a bumper crop lined up for the next few weeks, having spent most of yesterday tidying up files and uploading them. I'm setting the bar high with the first of the batch - Birmingham’s finest - The Move.

Roy Wood is a genius. No argument. Sadly, since the demise of The Move, his public perception is that of an eccentric Glam Rocker who had that big hit at Christmas. The fact that he looked like Ace Frehleys’ Granddad for most of the 70s didn't help his credibility much either. These two live recordings from '69, show him in a much different light - the fully paid up, 100% guaranteed, 24 carat, diamond encrusted, Psychedelic Rock Guitar Freakout King. It's no secret that Roy and the boys were big fans of West Coast Rock (their fantastic covers of tunes by Moby Grape and The Byrds are testament to this) and playing at the epicentre of the counterculture spurs the band on to some amazing work. It’s great to hear the band really cut loose, with Roy and Bev Bevan absolutely on fire. Trainspotters will delight in hearing unreleased material and fragments of what was to become one of their finest latter-day pieces - 'Lightning Never Strikes Twice' - in some of the improvisations.

'Sunshine Help Me' - I think this has Trevor Burton on Bass
but it's pretty close to the sound of the Fillmore recordings...

The October 16th show is a superb quality soundboard recording, the 18th is less HiFi, but still essential. The performances are stunning - playful yet purposeful. Who would have guessed that in a few short years, Carl Wayne would be a major MOR cabaret circuit star, Rick Price would be the tour manager for a family-entertainment singing duo, Bevan would be on the cusp of megastardom with ELO and Roy would enjoy a renaissance as a Rock 'n' Roll pantomime dame - but in a good way.

A version of the band survives to this day, much to Mr Woods chagrin. If you're in the Midlands of the UK, you can see a band helmed by Bev Bevan and founder member Trevor Burton filling social clubs any night of the week. It ain't 1969, but it ain't bad neither. Sadly, Carl Wayne is no longer with us, but these recordings, more than any other, serve as a fine epitaph.

I'd urge everyone to grab the brilliant 4 CD boxed set which came out a year or two ago, which features a couple of these recordings and loads of incredible stuff.

Maybe I'm biased as I'm a proud Brummie, but this band was, as I believe the young people are saying - The Shizzle.

(This is for Zed Zeplo, whose fine version of 'Open My Eyes' led me to dig these recordings out and Sal over at Burning Wood, who'll appreciate the Nazz covers...)

The Move: Fillmore West 16 10 1969

Open My Eyes
Hello Susie
Under The Ice-Open My Eyes Reprise
Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited

The Move: Fillmore West 18 10 1969

Open My Eyes
Don't Make My Baby Blue
Cherry Blossom Clinic Revisited
Last Thing On My Mind
I Can Hear The Grass Grow


  1. Roy Wood is an absolute genius. If I had to rescue a few albums from a burning mansion here, then The Move's Looking On and Wizzard's Wizzard Brew would be amongst them.

    The Move's back cat had been in a right state of re-release release again and release once more as most of the Cube label has become.

    The recent box set as you say is an absolute treasure.

    I've met Roy Wood twice. The first time as an aghast 11 year old. Aghast at seeing the accompanying Dancing Gorillas take their heads off back stage.

    The second time when he had a bit of a revival with a couple of singles including Rock City and sang the theme tune to Tiswas offshoot OTT.

    I was 16 or 17 the second time and he spent half an hour with me talking about amongst other things, the Mustard album (he couldn't understand why it hadn't been more popular), his relationship with Jeff Lynne (they were getting on well and the frostiness had thawed) and the Birmingham 60's scene.

    He jabbered on like a fanboy when Brian Wilson was mentioned and spoke of his love of Jazz.

    He was playing a small theatre more used to Panto with a local radio dj than the likes of the mighty Wood.

    He didn't seem resentful, just happy to be playing.

    The Move have never had their true recognition.

    I have to say though, I've always found Bevan a complete twat.

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  3. Rushbo, in addition to your immaculate taste in music, you must be clairvoyant - I was considering including my fave Move album, Message from the Country, as one of the next albums on my blog Shoulda Been Huge - so I'm in complete agreement with Anything Should Happen's reference to the Move never having their true recognition.

  4. Great shows - thanks!! And thanks for the shout out!

  5. These tactical handcuffs are great! never have problems putting them on any subjects I detain.